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Review gives ‘top marks’ to Gold Coast’s professional lifeguard services

Review gives ‘top marks’ to Gold Coast’s professional lifeguard services
May 7, 2021

Gold Coast City Council's professional lifeguard services has undergone a major internal review - with the results confirming that the men and women on patrol are the “best of the best".

Welcoming the findings, Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate stated “it’s important to review all our council operations. To have this review come back and confirm what millions of Aussies already know is heartening.

“The men and women in our lifeguard service are proud Gold Coasters. They patrol the beaches but also act as city ambassadors. Every day, locals and tourists seek out their advice on anything from shopping to the best café, the best coffees and the best nature trails to explore. I’m extremely proud to see the job they do.’’

The Gold Coast's professional lifeguards patrol 42 kilometres of coastline runing north from the NSW border to The Spit Seaway with its beaches welcoming twice the number of visitors annually when compared to the Sunshine Coast. 

From a Queensland total, Gold Coast beaches receive 50% of all beach visitors annually (around 14 million visits between June 2019 and June 2020)

The service remains the largest council-run service in Australia, patrolling twice as many beaches than others. 


• The City of Gold Coast's professional lifeguarding service has been in operation for more than 85 years, commencing in Southport in 1935.
• It was the first service in Australia to implement a lifeguard tower plan in 1988.
• Today it has seven lifeguard operation centres, five storage facilities, and 40 lifeguard towers along beaches from Rainbow Bay to The Spit Seaway.
• The service operates with staff levels that approach 200 in peak periods, with an operating budget of $10.6 million annually. 
• City lifeguards patrol 27 beaches year-round, which increases to 41 beaches during school holidays. 
• An estimated 14 million visitors attended City beaches from July 2019 to June 2020. This represents a 44% increase in beach visitors from just five years prior.
• 1600 rescues and 40,000 preventative actions performed annually.

Related Articles

7th May 2021 - Bruce Hopkins and Craig Riddington launch ‘Float to Survive’ water safety initiative

6th May 2021 - Surf Life Saving Queensland’s volunteers save more than 950 lives over the 20/21 patrol season

4th May 2021 - Australian Professional Ocean Lifeguards Association conference to explore reversing rising summer drowning toll

30th April 2021 - United Nations passes first ever Resolution on Global Drowning Prevention

2nd March 2021 - Gold Coast chief lifeguard Warren Young retires after 48 years of service

14th July 2020 - Sunshine Coast expands lifeguard services to boost beach safety

7th April 2020 - Popular Gold Coast beaches to be closed after Coronavirus rules ignored

22nd May 2019 - Federal Government won’t deliver on APOLA funding plea to reduce drownings

15th December 2017 - Leading professional lifeguard says swim between flags message is ‘desirable but unrealistic’

15th November 2017 - Gold Coast lifeguard numbers to be increased to cope with Commonwealth Games visitors

27th December 2015 - Professional Lifeguards highlight need for safety first at the beach

30th November 2014 - Professional Lifeguards advocate safety first at Australian beaches

19th June 2012 - SLSA picks new Gold Coast beaches for 2013 Australian Surf Life Saving Championships

21st January 2010 - Professional Lifeguards reject ‘flawed’ SLSA Rip Campaign

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